The following was syndicated from Quora for The Fatherly Forum, a community of parents and influencers with insights about work, family, and life. If you’d like to join the Forum, drop us a line at [email protected].
My husband wants my 18-month-old son to play with toy guns and I absolutely do not. Should I let my kids play with toy guns?
When my children were small (they are now in their 30s) I started off with some pretty weird ideas. To begin with, I was under the vague impression that a baby arrived as a blank sheet that you could write on. Wrong, as I very quickly discovered – you have a small person there, with their own likes and dislikes, and there is very little that you, as a mere parent, can do to change those.
So my daughter never did want to play with dolls – though she did play house games with small toy animals. She did not much want to wear dresses and skirts, and still does not. Her choices.
RELATED: The Deadly Science Behind Why Boys Love Guns
And her brothers – well, they wanted to play games that involved toy guns. I tried to avoid this, and gave them nice non-violent things like Lego instead – until I realized that they were (amongst all the other things they built) using it to make toy guns. So I gave in, and let them have toy guns anyway, spud guns, water pistols, cap guns, super-soakers, whatever. When they were in their teens they had an air rifle each, and did a bit of target shooting, both in the back garden and at a rifle range while they were members of their Scout group.
And you know what? They have grown into two perfectly nice, non-violent young men. Which they probably would have anyway, but we did not have lots of rows about it.
ALSO: Watch This Kid Shoot Out His Baby Tooth with a Toy Gun
Do not worry about it – your little boy will be fine. Remember he is your son, and that he is going to grow up into a man; if he does not want to play with guns, he will not try to, but he will be his own person. Do not try to force him to be a miniature of either of you, because you will not succeed. Let him be the person he wants to be, and trust that he’ll be okay. If he’s more like his father than you, well, where’s the problem? Presumably you like his father, or why did you marry him? Relax, and do not worry about it. He will be fine.
Gill Bullen enjoys writing about parenting and British culture. Read more from Quora below: